McCain to Make Amends With Dobson

By JIM DAVENPORT
The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 16, 2007; 9:59 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he hopes to patch things up with conservative Christian leader James Dobson, who recently said he wouldn't support the Republican's presidential bid under any circumstances.

In a radio interview with KCBI, a Dallas Christian station, Dobson argued that McCain didn't support traditional marriage values and complained that the campaign finance legislation he co-authored hurt Christian broadcasters.

"Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances," Dobson said on KCBI.

The 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation stifled "Christian radio" and "kept us from telling the truth right before elections," Dobson contended. "He is not in favor of traditional marriage and I pray that we will not get stuck with him."

During a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C., McCain said: "I'm obviously disappointed and I'd like to continue and have a dialogue with Dr. Dobson and other members of the community."

McCain has said gay marriage should not be legal but has angered some conservatives with his opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions. The Arizona senator said the issue should be left to the states.

"I'm happy to say that I've established a dialogue with a number of other leaders," including the Rev. Jerry Falwell, "Purpose Driven Life" author Rick Warren and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.

McCain has reached out to conservatives he once crossed. Last May, he spoke at Falwell's Liberty University in Virginia. In 2000, Falwell opposed McCain's campaign for the GOP nomination and supported George W. Bush. At the time, McCain labeled Falwell and others on the right and the left as "agents of intolerance."

During his 2000 presidential bid, McCain also criticized Bob Jones University, a Christian fundamentalist college, for its ban on interracial dating.

In a GOP debate with Bush, McCain said that given the opportunity to speak at the school as Bush had, he would have said: "Look, what you're doing in this ban on interracial dating is stupid, it's idiotic, and it is incredibly cruel to many people."

McCain said last year that he wouldn't turn down an opportunity to speak at Bob Jones.

Since 2000, the school has lifted its interracial dating ban.


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